Homestead Report 20: April 17, 2017

Spring has sprung! The last bit of snow melted last Tuesday (April 11), some of our summer birds have arrived, flowers are blooming, and our hoop house is bursting with life. I’m excited to get my hands in the dirt and just to be outside.

Bulbs (scilla and crocus) are blooming– the crocuses have been out since April 1st, when we had a couple of inches of snow on the ground! Most are already fading. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths are all poking out of the ground, but no flowers are out yet.

Spring ephemeral wildflowers, including spring beauties, waterleaf, hepatica, and Dutchman’s britches, are poking out of the leaf litter on the east side of the house. The first hepatica flower opened today; the others are still just in bud.

The forsythia flowers opened yesterday at our house, though we’ve been seeing blooms in Northfield for at least a week.

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One clump of Johnny jump-ups started blooming several days ago, and there are lots more with bursting buds.

Red maple flowers have painted the hills a subtle red-orange. Our recently-pruned fruit trees have swollen buds. We’re hoping that this year we won’t have a killing frost once they flower. Last year there wasn’t a peach to be found in all of western MA.

Our wildlife camera found a pair of nocturnal visitors last night.

Birds!! For several mornings, a pair of pileated woodpeckers has been hammering away at a rotten log that must be full of carpenter ants. We can see them from our breakfast table.

IMG_9058We’ve been listing dates of our first sighting of each spring migrant: red-winged blackbirds on March 26; song sparrow arrived on April 1 at our feeder (10 days after last year’s first arrival); phoebe on April 4th; yellow-bellied sapsuckers drumming on April 10; tree swallows and eastern bluebirds on April 11 (and both species already in and out of several nest boxes); chipping sparrow and northern flicker on April 12. There are other birds around of whom we haven’t taken such careful note. We are still seeing juncos today, but fewer and fewer. It’s hard to take note of someone’s “last day.”

Inside, our lovely orchids continue to put on a nice show.

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One thought on “Homestead Report 20: April 17, 2017

  1. carol blyth says:

    so many beautiful flowers, trees, and birds…missed you both at Easter…rain held out and we had a wonderful gathering at Juniper Junction. love, C and C

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